Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: The Serene Squall
June 16, 2022 9:19 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Do what you want 'cause a pirate is free--Pike is a pirate!

Memory Alpha's flag means death:

- This is, AFAIK, the first mention of Sybok in canon since Star Trek V. (There was a fair amount of complaining hither and yon that, while DIS was exploring the complicated history and relationships of Michael Burnham with Spock, Sarek, and Amanda, Sybok was never mentioned. Well, here you go.)

- Stonn was first seen in TOS' "Amok Time." So, he and T'Pring work together. Hmm. Guess that this is an ep for people in a committed relationship having coworkers interested in them?

- The books mentioned by T'Pring include Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, and The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson.

- Jesse James Keitel (no direct relation) is a nonbinary actor who uses she/her IRL; Dr. Aspen uses they/them.

- Not sure how that, uh, control interface that Pike is using on the Serene Squall would actually work on a starship; maybe it's just for nostalgia/fun purposes.

"Don't try to be smarter than the truth. That's what got you in trouble the last time."

- Chapel to Spock

Poster's Log:

I was actually dreading this episode a little when I read the episode description from MA ("While on a dangerous humanitarian mission, the crew of the USS Enterprise stumbles into a harrowing game of leverage with the quadrant's deadliest space pirate"), because the franchise has had a bunch of eps in which the ship is boarded and taken over by pirates or whomever and various of the crew end up McClaneing through the ductwork in order to take the ship back; VOY and ENT especially leaned pretty hard on this trope. When there's a brief shot of Chapel hiding in a Jefferies tube, I was like, OK, here we go. But this ep is cleverer than that, both with the mid-ep twist and with Pike being able to manipulate the pirate crew, probably in no small part because of the mid-ep twist. (Which I kind of saw coming, but mostly because of where the plot was at that point; it was simply too early in the ep for Spock and Chapel to get the ship back.)

Lots of fun, especially for a shopworn trope, and I think that we may have the series' first original recurring character (and a likely recurring antagonist, as well!) because of this. Even the prospect that Sybok may be returning as well isn't as dire as I would have thought, although--pains me to say this, but I gotta--that may be in part because Shatner probably won't be involved.
posted by Halloween Jack (50 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I literally loled when they showed Sybok.

I'm starting to think that Chapel and Spock will indeed get into a relationship--it's easy enough to retcon her behavior towards Spock in TOS as someone not over her ex.
posted by rhymedirective at 10:28 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]

I totally didn’t know about Sybok, so I had a total flashback to this meme.
posted by sixswitch at 2:08 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]

Una's "please stop" is ::chef's kiss:: (and I love that in this moment Pike is in what I call "action Kirk" mode with the left fist on the command chair arm rest).
posted by ewan at 2:09 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]

I love a "people take over the ship" episode and I appreciated how they made it different to every other of its type on previous Treks. I am looking forward to seeing more of Captain Angel and Sybok in the future.

7 great episodes out of 7. Best start of a Trek series ever?
posted by crossoverman at 5:35 PM on June 16 [14 favorites]

Pike really cooked up a mutiny didn't he
posted by M Edward at 6:34 PM on June 16 [8 favorites]


If they can call back to Star Trek V, anything's on the table. Get ready for a "Spock's Brain" episode. Beverley Crusher's Scottish ghost. An Evening with Data at the Apollo.
posted by PlusDistance at 6:40 PM on June 16 [14 favorites]

Jesse James Keitel was UH-mazing, and I can't wait until they tangle with her again. I hope bringing in Sybok doesn't ruin that. It's a clever poke at the canon-nerds, but I don't know how they can work that into something. I guess we'll find out eventually.

Was glad to see Pike's hair get some time off this week. The rest of the B-story was okay. Almost felt like something Mariner and Boimler would try to pull off on Lower Decks.

Plus kudos to the casting director who found Stonn's exact double 55 years later. I assume we'll see a little more of him, as well.
posted by briank at 7:24 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]

I admit I was curious about the identity of the prisoner and kind of guessed but I thought, “There is just no way.” Apparently there is way.

I am also watching Kenobi in parallel with this. Just this week on that other show we had some de-aged Kenobi-Anakin scenes from about the Attack of the Clones era.

It’s curious that both franchises would dip into their least-loved movie instalments on episodes airing 24 hours apart.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:20 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]

Jesse James Keitel is indeed impressive.

--> off to explore her body of work

I'm slowly, maybe, starting to appreciate Ethan Peck's Spock.

Was that... yes! lol Captain Angel's boots must be a reference to these ones.
posted by porpoise at 9:01 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]

Holy crap, I’m already looking forward to the Angel episode next season and every season afterwards. Instantly captivating debut for the character, with a great 80s-TV-villain throwback performance.

Thank you for the pronoun note in your writeup. Did we hear Angel’s pronouns?

Before the big reveal I really loved the idea that Federation humanitarian Dr. Aspen wasn’t an alien or even from a distant human settlement, just goth af and very extra.

I liked this episode a lot, but I’ll admit it was a little tonally off for me, with the Pike storyline leaning more towards a comedy episode but the Spock plotline being a lot more serious. It was hard to really know where you stood emotionally.

But on the other hand it’s hard to be too critical of an episode where Pike has to win over a crew of space pirates by cooking a really good pot of chili.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:04 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]

The one thing I'm really missing on a lot of new shows, and on this show in particular, is episode titles. It's one thing for people discussing episodes online to pop over to IMDB (or wherever else) and look up the show's title, just so that everybody knows exactly what episode is being discussed, but if this show wants to hearken back to TOS, then dammit, give us the titles on the screen like the old show did. Those old titles were part of the thrill of watching the show, teasing the viewer into the episode. (I'd also like actor's names in opening credits linked to character names, but that's a different rant for a different day.)

New Stonn (at least at the quick glances we got) certainly looked like old Stonn, so I'll second the casting director kudos.

I'd swear that Jefferies tubes were a bit smaller and a lot more inaccessible on the TOS Enterprise (either placed behind coverings or higher up towards the ceiling), but I'll admit I could be wrong about that.

Angel's outfit pretty much signalled that there was something not quite right about her character from the get go. That definitely wasn't something a Federation counsellor (even an ex one) would typically be depicted wearing. As for having counsellors at all, that feels very much like a shoehorning TNG approaches into TOS (or pre-TOS) continuity retroactively.

I really don't want to see Sybok again, strictly due to continuity reasons. Mind you, I'm also of the impression that the current writing team is walking a really difficult tight rope to reconcile this T'Pring with original T'Pring. It's not that I don't like new T'Pring, because I do, but that the TOS episode where she is introduced is such an important one for Spock and his growth as a character, and this show seems almost determined to undercut everything that was originally established. (Yeah, I know this can all be hand-waved away. I'm sure by the end of the series it will come down to something like Spock feeling responsible for the accident that injures Pike, and driven by guilt, Spock shuts his emotions off, rededicates himself to logic and cutting off his friends and the people who knew him and knew about him, hence, which is why Kirk's crew knows nothing about him, his history, his relationships, etc. And, as per the suggestion above, nurse Chapel is ticked off by his self-sacrificing, self-pitying actions and outwardly acts colder to him, both to punish him and to help comply with his desire to live a more inward-focused, no friends life.)

As for the pirate ship's wheel, I want to say we've seen another starship with a similar nautical control, but I can't remember exactly where. I want to say in one of the TOS crew movies perhaps?
posted by sardonyx at 9:22 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]

Argh! You can't set up in the first act that the Enterprise is going far out of Federation space and will be 2 days out of communication range And then in the third act have the Vulcan girlfriend be right next door with real-time communications and can just pop over in a spaceship. Argh!

That aside I enjoyed this episode a whole lot. Angel truly stole the show. Also love that they embrace silliness like the Orion fake captain, the cooking, and the giant ship's wheel. It's nice to see a show like this not take itself so seriously.

Nurse Chapell is truly hot. I love the commitment to the white uniform and the platinum blonde hair. The contrast between her and Captain Angel was delicious.
posted by Nelson at 10:36 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]

Una's "please stop" is ::chef's kiss::

Stardate September 19: Interstellar Talk Like a Pirate Day!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:58 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]

Thank you for the pronoun note in your writeup. Did we hear Angel’s pronouns?

Angel/Aspen was referred to as "they" before they arrived and as "they" when Pike did his pirate impression at the end. Proving that you should respect people's pronouns even when they turn out to be a sexy space pirate.

As for having counsellors at all, that feels very much like a shoehorning TNG approaches into TOS (or pre-TOS) continuity retroactively.

Didn't they say Aspen was a counsellor at a star base? I think the show has mentioned counsellors a couple of times and has always had them on bases rather than ships to keep this continuity. (No counsellors on ships seems pretty silly in retrospect but the 60s were the 60s.)
posted by crossoverman at 11:25 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]

I hope somebody thinks to look for the real Aspen wherever Angel dumped them. I figured out something was off when she showed up at Spock's quarters (or even earlier when she had her own private rave) but I knew what was up when she was so weirdly adamant about abandoning ship. I lolled at "I've been manipulating your emotions this whole time".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:02 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]

Our Hailing Frequency Means Death

Mrs. Fedora noted a couple of times that Angel was very reminiscent of Mirror Universe Kira, which was fun
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:57 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]

Sardonyx, your extrapolation of the future of this show makes a lot of sense. But I also think this episode demonstrates that the writers want to surprise us.

On that note, Sybok is enough of a blank slate that they can go a lot of different directions with him, including ignoring him entirely (i.e., the foreboding closing shot being meant simply to retroactively foreshadow STV). I don't think he and Spock discussed their past encounters much at all in STV, but that's one of the films I have least memorized.

Anyway, another fun outing, with some classic tropes well-presented (the downward Jeffries tube shot right out of TOS; pirates who never bathe, even in the future). This franchise has not actually done space pirates all that often, though as Jack pointed out, we've had no shortage of other varieties of shipnappers.

I weirdly kind of want to seek out the butthurt prejudiced-Internet-nerd-rage over Angel, but I imagine it will somehow cross my path without any effort on my part.

Argh! You can't set up in the first act that the Enterprise is going far out of Federation space and will be 2 days out of communication range And then in the third act have the Vulcan girlfriend be right next door with real-time communications and can just pop over in a spaceship. Argh!

I noticed this too; the only retcon that comes to mind is that Vulcan ships are maybe still more technologically-superior (and thus faster) than the UFP's, which ties into ENT and doesn't negate anything from TOS, IIRC (TBH); YMMV, MSRP.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:36 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]

As for the pirate ship's wheel, I want to say we've seen another starship with a similar nautical control, but I can't remember exactly where. I want to say in one of the TOS crew movies perhaps?

There was one on the Enterprise-A in Star Trek V, although all it did was hide an emergency comm.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:39 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]

I really liked this episode. I have only a vague familiarity with TOS-era canon, so I'm not too hung up on how some of the details are going to join up. I also laughed when they did the Sybok reveal. There was so much complaining about how he appeared to have been retconned out of Discovery... so, OK, nerds, fine, here he is!

I thought the Dr Aspen twist was telegraphed from the very start (maybe I'm just naturally suspicious, and maybe it reminded me too much of the setup of the last Nu Trek movie), and I was concerned that a nonbinary character being revealed as an infiltrator and deceiver was an unfortunate trope. But I really liked Captain Angel and thought that they were complex and three-dimensional, so I didn't get that kind of vibe after the twist was revealed. But I'm cis; other people's mileage may vary.

I do really hope that we see them again, which seems likely given the Sybok connection.
posted by confluency at 6:23 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]

Didn't they say Aspen was a counsellor at a star base? I think the show has mentioned counsellors a couple of times and has always had them on bases rather than ships to keep this continuity. (No counsellors on ships seems pretty silly in retrospect but the 60s were the 60s.)
posted by crossoverman at 11:25 PM on June 16

Yup, she was posted to a star base. But I just meant shoehorning in the whole 80s/TNG idea of counsellors, like they were a common thing in the Federation, not that they were posted to the ships. This was one of those "have their cake and eat it too" retcons.

I know I used she in my previous post, but that was a) partly a slip and b) partly a question. Aspen's pronouns were they. That was mentioned a few times, but I don't think we were explicitly told what Angel's pronouns were. I'm guessing that the show will go with they as well for the character, but that's not a given--at least based on what happened on the screen and not what has happened in the writers' room, in casting discussions, in producers' meetings, etc.
posted by sardonyx at 8:22 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]

Good week to watch "The Ready Room" as well, since it features Jess Bush and Jesse James Keitel.
posted by briank at 8:26 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]

At the top of the episode I was kinda hoping for Spock’s Goth Girlfriend.
I did like the episode though.
posted by Uncle at 10:49 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]

Speaking as a non-binary transgender person, who uses she/her and they/them pronouns... I want a lot more of Captain Angel.

I may also just have a thing for emotionally manipulative femme badasses with black hair.
posted by SansPoint at 11:21 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]

That theme tune just gets better and better every week - and what a run of episodes for a first season! (I also am in love with Captain Angel and would like to join their next crew)
posted by Molesome at 12:33 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]

the foreboding closing shot being meant simply to retroactively foreshadow STV

This is a sentence that would barely be comprehensible a generation ago.

I recall maybe fifteen years ago reading an article about the growing level of sophistication expected of television viewers, with the article plotting out the structure of the narrative in Starsky and Hutch episodes compared with The Wire.

In the same vein, with sprawling multimedia franchises running over decades, the idea that we would see the back of a character’s head to evoke his sole previous appearance 33 years ago is just batshit by twentieth-century narrative practices. Of course, across the street at the Star Wars shop, the survival of a character thought dead in a 1983 movie was signalled by having him appear initially in a wordless two-or three-second cameo in a TV show in 2020, played by an actor who had never previously played him onscreen (although who had played fellow clones and the clones’... progenitor?) in a movie same twenty years earlier. And pretty much everyone understood.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:41 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]

In my head canon the Orions represent America & Americans in the future and I love these cool ass pirates.

Spock & T'Pring are so cute together. I loved how T'Pring was right there with Spock the whole time and I appreciate the ways they're finding to show us what a good relationship for Spock looks like. I'm glad that they gave him a good relationship & that it feels right for both of them.
posted by bleep at 7:10 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]

Captain Angel is a great villain who I look forward to seeing again, but I admit that I'm a little disappointed that the Federation does not seem to have random sexy goth counselors roaming the wilds. Would love to see some characters whose style screams "Obvious Space Pirate!" who are, in fact, not space pirates, just weirdos who hang out on the fringes of Federation space because they don't really fit in.

I think if you're a writer feeling bound by the continuity of all the Star Trek that has to come after your show, going after unappreciated bits like Gorns or Sybok is extremely smart, because first, you have more room to be creative and surprising, and secondly, if you happen to fudge a little bit of existing canon, who's really gonna mind? The existing stuff is a mess largely better-left-forgotten as it stands already.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:38 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]

I am pondering what kind of sex Spock and T'Pring would have had after she read Henry Miller, Erica Jong and Maggie Nelson.
posted by crossoverman at 8:42 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]

I too look forward to seeing Captain Angel appear as a surprise once per season
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:06 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]

This is weird but I often think of Laurence Luckinbill when I'm stressed. Sybok's smile is as good as a xanax!
posted by thejoshu at 7:33 AM on June 18

I appreciated the Angel actress' comment on Twitter
Trans people have a complicated history with tv/ film — but at a time when trans women are constantly vilified, mocked & legislated against IRL, I take pride in flipping the script. Cis actors get to play every shade of good & evil — let us do the same!
True confession: I love the queer villain trope that goes back so, so far to the 30s or before. It comes from offensive origins, particularly for transgender people. But the villain was often the only role with any queer visibility and many times those roles are so delicious! Particuarly when they get to camp it up.

Anyway, nice to see Keitel embrace the joy of being the villain too. And get to play a classic queer role, the double agent / double persona. The only problem is I can't explain it to my friends without spoiling the big twist in the story. Gotta get people to watch!

Has anyone seen Keitel in anything else? I guess Big Sky is her big role, but I've never even heard of the show until now. She's also in the new New Orleans version of Queer as Folk.
posted by Nelson at 10:25 AM on June 18 [7 favorites]

Yeah, I'm also on board for more episodes with Captain Angel. And I'd also like to see JJK show up in a prominent role in season 2 of Our Flag Means Death.

Or hell, just reboot the whole Pirates of the Caribbean series with her in place of that abusive PoS Depp.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 1:58 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]

This is weird but I often think of Laurence Luckinbill

I like that Luckinbill is the connective tissue between two prominent showbiz families: son-in-law to Lucy and Desi, and Uncle Larry to the Wachowskis.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:56 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]

She's also in the new New Orleans version of Queer as Folk.

I've been bingeing that this week, so it was fun to see her in QAF and Star Trek. One of her character's defining lines in QAF is "Trans people can be toxic, too. It's called intersectionality" which is both funny and calls her out on her shit. QAF has the best queer sex scenes since Sense8.
posted by crossoverman at 4:35 PM on June 18

I'm mainly watching this series to spot IBC containers. Every time the crew beam into a colony or onto a ship where something's taken place and sparks are coming out of things, there'll be a load of IBC containers. So apparently some engineering standards have persisted from the 1990s.
posted by pipeski at 5:12 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]

Pike's pirate accent at the end, combined with Chin-Riley's impassioned plea to, "Please stop." Just the best. Had to pause the video because I was too busy laughing.

Also they missed a step in the promo for this: "CAN YOU SMELL WHAT THE CAPTAIN HAS COOKIN'??!?"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:23 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]

Enjoyed the series so far but this is easily the worst episode so far. No surprises. You could see the twist from a mile away. It was clumsy, clunky, and trying to be cute. Amateurish. But that said, every Star Trek series has terrible episodes (of the old Trek perhaps the original and Voyager had the most bad ones and as for new Trek, easily Discovery).
posted by juiceCake at 6:22 PM on June 19

As I recall, T'Pring chooses to divorce Spock in Amok Time because she has realized that she does not wish to remain attached to someone who has become more a legend than just some Vulcan in Starfleet. I expect that if the writers have enough good sense they will play into the background mentions of Spock being someone whose influence on Vulcan, and later Ni'var, society is substantial.

We should being seeing, or at least gleaning, mentions of ideas and works by Spock, that stimulate controversy on Vulcan. Hopefully there will be episodes that show both the limits of the Vulcan dialectic of logic and its ongoing utility as a way of overcoming emotional excesses, in ways that make it sensible that Spock is learning how to expand Vulcan understanding without rejecting the teachings of Surak, and doing so in such ways as to be useful for all Vulcans.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 8:06 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

Enjoyed the series so far but this is easily the worst episode so far. No surprises. You could see the twist from a mile away. It was clumsy, clunky, and trying to be cute. Amateurish.

From a plot perspective, this one is probably the least inventive since the pilot. But what I really love about this show is the characters and the details, not the plots.

Something I never thought I'd see, something I love this episode for is the early scene between Spock and Dr Aspen. A non-binary character played by a non-binary actor said to Spock that maybe he's not human OR Vulcan. Maybe he's something else. Basically, fuck the binary thinking, be "non-binary". That's surprising. That's smart. That's a beautiful detail.

In an episode about space pirates, that scene was incredible. And I loved the space pirates stuff, too.
posted by crossoverman at 9:30 PM on June 19 [13 favorites]

yeah, I keep thinking about the well-executed subtext on the "you decide your own identity instead of sticking to a pre-defined pigeonhole" being delivered by a non-binary character, and how that part of the character's identity is just kind of glossed over like of course there are NB people in the future, why would you even need to waste time explaining why we're referring to them with "them"

and then I think about Discovery and its "I've known writers who use subtext, and they're all cowards" approach to pretty much the same idea
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:28 PM on June 19 [11 favorites]

Yes, the Discovery approach made me think through that balance of "this show is set in the future" and "this show is written in 2022". And it was enough to be racially diverse in the 1960s and these days you might need to make it clear someone is trans or non-binary, even if you can choose to do it subtly or be heavy-handed. I could well imagine people might have missed Angel's they/them pronouns in this episode. I think Discovery's choice to foreground Adira's coming out was a good one even though I also thought "I wish they didn't have to come out in the far, far future".
posted by crossoverman at 4:34 PM on June 20

I felt like the non-binary actor and commentary on Spock was pretty obvious, but it also just happened in the middle of a show with a story. That’s how to do this kind of thing. (Even if the story was a little silly.)

The Discovery thing of wedging an allegory into an unrelated story and then have everyone pause and smile wistfully at the learning moment is just boring. It reveals they don’t really have enough story and are padding it out with contrived feelgood character beats that don’t really develop the characters because they are just thrown in willy-nilly.
posted by snofoam at 5:25 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]

IMO no throwaway episodes so far, which is remarkable. The cast is excellent, and a big thanks for reminding me of the Ready Room. Will's a bit over the top, but Jesse James Keitel stole that show too by staying in character for her bit. I would not have easily guessed that Jess Bush is an Aussie. She's very charming.
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:27 AM on June 22

It looks like we haven't seen the last of Captain Angel...

...and I couldn't be more excited for it!
posted by SansPoint at 7:27 AM on June 22

Wish we didn't have to go over how much everyone hated Discovery in every one of these threads. I really liked Discovery and it was bad enough not getting to enjoy any of those threads.
posted by bleep at 2:26 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]

bleep: Seconded. Discovery has become my gay space mystery solving family show and I adore it to no end. (Though, yes, Season 1 was rough)
posted by SansPoint at 3:27 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]

Still on the fence about this show. It's the Trekkiest Trek I've seen in a million years. And there were a lot of good moments in this ep!


- Apparently they took Angel's word about the missing colony ships, and didn't try to verify it or run any kind of background check? This "counselor" was pretty obviously not on the level, and the setup was obvious from a mile away.

- As someone else noted, they were so far out that it would take them 2 days to contact Starfleet HQ, but they could have a real-time video call with T'Pring?

- Angel stunned Spock on the bridge, then warned that the next shot wouldn't be on stun setting... and then just sat there while he made out with Chapel and broke up with T'Pring?

- Pike and comrades committed the fastest, easiest mutiny ever, entirely offscreen? This kind of thing happens a lot in this show : fairly huge plot developments accomplished almost instantly and effortlessly, and they don't "show their work". It feels lazy.

I give them credit for bringing back S'Tonn *and* Sybok in one episode (even if I guessed the Sybok reveal well in advance).

Thankful that Pike's hair was less Vanilla Ice this time.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:27 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]

Pike really cooked up a mutiny didn't he

The B-plot made this episode so much better than just the A-plot alone would have been. It was fun, it was legitimately funny, the comedy was appropriate to an action packed episode, and it let Pike and the crew show off some hyper competence despite completely falling for the initial con. It's so rare to get the protagonists be the victim of a heist plot on a TV series and not feel people were passing around the idiot ball the whole time.

I have maintained for years that the only Trek series whose writers could consistently do comedy were the DS9 guys, and that was only after a couple seasons spent getting the characters under their belt. I am ready to consider amending that claim.

Best start of a Trek series ever?

Yes, although I think if you're willing to grade on a curve TOS is close.
posted by mark k at 1:41 PM on July 13

I also thought the twist was way too obvious, though I would only say the most obvious since the Illyrian episode with the fire creatures who turned out to be the locals.

Trek humour has never really worked for me, and this was no exception, but the season is still chugging along fine. I'm a bit more dubious about the dialogue than others here.

Concerning Spock etc, if the Vulcans are shagging more often than in TOS then they must have some sort of literature about it surely? It can't just be Spock and T'Pring at it more than once every seven years can it?
posted by biffa at 3:30 AM on July 26

The pirates didn’t really work for me. I felt like the show couldn’t decide if they were supposed to be ruthless and cunning, or bumbling and foolish.

After this exchange, I was ready to see a tight-knit band of canny pirates who rely on their deep bonds to outsmart better-equipped vessels:
Spock: “The Enterprise would doubtless prove superior to any pirate vessel.”
Angel (posing as Aspen): “These pirates are outsiders, fiercely loyal to each other. That bond can be more powerful than any weapon.”
Then we meet the pirates, and it turns out that the acting pirate captain (Remy) is contemptuous of the crew, the crew is ready to mutiny at the slightest provocation, and Captain Angel is (while speaking this line) carrying a personal transporter device so they can abandon their crew at any moment.

Is the idea that Angel was falsely talking up the pirates to intimidate the Enterprise crew into compliance? Even so, it seems a little weird that Captain Angel is out here playing four-dimensional chess and leading a successful scheme to seize Starfleet’s flagship, while meanwhile their crew is a bunch of unmanageable rubes. Like ostensibly they mutinied because they didn't like Remy's leadership (or cooking)—but now that we know Remy was just temporary acting captain while Angel was incognito on the Enterprise, this doesn’t make sense as the basis for a mutiny.
posted by Syllepsis at 4:51 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]

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